Gliding beneath the water of St. Mary’s Bay never fails to make my troubles wash away.
This summer after six years of waiting, two of them caused by COVID-19, I finally made it back home to my birthplace, Prince Edward Island. It was an incredibly therapeutic trip for me and my family as we got back together and hung out like old times.
Summers spent returning to PEI have always been about going home to visit my grandparents and extended family. As a kid, it seemed like the sleepy little province never changed and was always the exact same as when I’d left it.
Returning now as an adult, however, I see that while the best parts of my home province stay the same, things do indeed change.
The Eastern Graphic’s old office has been, quite fittingly, converted into a microbrewery. Pavement has replaced grass at Peake’s Wharf, the best place in Charlottetown to listen to some live music on the water.
Even the old family cottage on St. Mary’s Bay, thanks to my Grampy Joe, 75, has seen a few improvements. My cousins and I now have a floating dock to jump off in the bay while on land a brand new gazebo has become a place for the family to gather and talk about life.
Let me tell you, there was quite a bit to talk about. The last time all the cousins were together, I was still getting used to being an adult while they were all still little kids or preteens.
New jobs, video games, sports and attending new levels of school were just a few of the topics we touched on as we listened to the sound of mosquitoes frying outside. Watching my cousins display the personalities that will define them in adulthood brought a smile to my face.
Despite all that change though, we’re still family. My brothers and even several of my cousins were as equally eager to play a pirate-themed Dungeons and Dragons game as they were in throwing me off the dock into the bay.
In the quiet moments when I wasn’t with my family, I reflected on life back in 100 Mile House. In many ways, it has a similar vibe to PEI. Both are small, primarily rural communities with tight-knit and friendly people.
As for my job, while I enjoy the work the stress that comes with it is something I need to learn to let go of. Putting myself back in the mindset I have while gliding above the seagrass of the bay, even now, is calming. It will be something I’ll have to keep in mind as winter begins to make itself known in the next few months.
We only get one life on this Earth and spending it with those you love while doing what you love is key. Change will come and we can only embrace it and learn to accept it.